Electoral Conflict Management Mechanisms

There are several causes of election related conflicts, some of which are directly related to the administration of the process, but in many instances simmering political tensions experienced during the in-between elections find expression during election periods. In order for credible and legitimate elections to take place, especially in a post-conflict society or in a country that is plagued by political conflict it is critically important that the constitutional and legislative framework for the elections are clearly spelt out in the Constitution and the electoral laws and regulations. It is also necessary that the framework appropriately reflects the material conditions of the country rather than creating benchmarks that are totally unattainable for any of the contesting parties. For example, in a country where the society is polarized, it is particularly important that a level playing field is secured, through legislation, for all parties to have access to the electorate in order to campaign without fear of reprisals and without “no-go” areas….. : more

Managing Election-related Conflicts in Zimbabwe

The issue of disputed election outcomes is not a new phenomenon to countries that have carried out periodic elections to elect new governments after particular periods as stipulated by those countries’ constitutions or any guiding governance documents. Managing such conflicts has always been a challenge. Often some of these conflicts have degenerated into outright physical confrontations in the form of military surges, genocides and other forms of physical conflict capable of killing or maiming those caught up in the conflict. Zimbabwe is a good example of a country torn apart by a conflict that is election-related. Allow me ladies and gentlemen, to give background to the Zimbabwe Crisis….. : more

The Real Crisis In Zimbabwe

I know I am supposed to speak about the achievements and challenges faced by my organisation in its quest to promote democratic, free and fair elections. But since the Zimbabwean situation is unique in the region, I will adopt an almost different approach to presenting the challenges and achievements that my organisation has scored in its endeavour to ensuring democratic, free and fair elections in the country. By outlining the Zimbabwe situation, I will implicitly address the part of the presentation that requires me to talk of the challenges faced by movements that seek to promote democracy in the country. Because of the many reports that have been, so far, doing rounds on Zimbabwe, the situation in the country, to those from without, is confusing, if not convoluted. It therefore calls me to explain the crisis….. : more

Building Democracy Through Women Participation In Elections.

I am glad to have an opportunity to talk about women participation in elections as a way of building democracy. As a starting point, there is need to critically look at the key words on the subject of this presentation-democracy and participation. But before we do that, lets have a bit of background information on the gender representation in our parliament and the various conventions and protocols that we are signatory to, which outlaw the discrimination of women. …. : more

Zimbabwe: A Culture Of Electoral Fraud, A Paper Presented By ZESN At The Zambia SADC Summit 13-14 August 2007.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the holding of periodic, free and fair elections form part of the basic tenets of democratic practices and good governance. Our participation in the electoral processes, as civic bodies should therefore be looked at as a human right as well as a commitment to a calling that, as civil society, we should heed to. This summit comes at a time when Zimbabwe is undergoing a lot of challenges, political, social and economic, but most importantly, at a time when the country is preparing for yet another major election-the harmonised presidential, parliamentary and senatorial elections. Given such a background, it is important that I give you an update on what is going on in the country in view of the forthcoming elections. It is my wish that the summit would, after this presentation, come up with recommendations, suggestions and general advice on how best the civil society would ensure their effective participation in the electoral process. Let me begin by going historical….. : more

Amendment 18 Silent On Many Critical Issues

WHILE there is the provision in Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill 2007 that, for the first time in the history of constituency delimitation in the country, parliament would be presented with the preliminary report for consideration, we have noted, with interest, that the Bill is quite inexplicit on various issues that pertain to the delimitation exercise.

Zimbabwe Needs An Electoral System Capable Of Healing Political Wounds

Judging from past events, the Zimbabwe political landscape is a minefield that has generated acrimonious relations between the two major political parties in Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Pre-election violence, accusations and counter-accusations of electoral fraud and litigations have characterised the elections in Zimbabwe since 2000. Such a political climate calls for an electoral process capable of healing the wounds resultant of the political tension obtaining in the country since the dawning of the new millennium….. : more